10 Space-Saving Ways to Prep for Baby When Your Apartment Is Small AF

Here’s how you game the baby gear system.

You’re expecting a baby…congrats! Whether this is your first or fourth bundle of joy, one thing is true—you need certain items to survive the first year. Take a look at any registry list and you might become a bit overwhelmed by all the “musts”—cribs, strollers, pacifiers, diapers and car seats are just the tip of the iceberg.

And if you happen to be an apartment-dweller, or live somewhere that is void of ample space, deciding which products you actually need is even trickier. Below we’ve rounded up 10 items you definitely want (nay, need!), all of which are smaller than typical and/or can be easily stored when not in use. Because when you’ve only got a few hundred square feet of space to live in, you don’t want to be swallowed up by all that baby gear.

THE CRIB

You may have always dreamed of lying your sweet baby to bed in a sleigh crib, but a teensy nursery—or no nursery at all—likely rules that dream out. What to do? Well, first, don’t scrimp on quality. Just because you need a small footprint, doesn’t mean you should settle for an unknown brand or something that is cheap and rickety. Enter: The Stokke Sleepi Mini Crib. A smaller version of the brand’s beautiful Sleepi Crib, this one is just 32-inches long and 26-inches wide and comes with wheels, so you can push baby from your bedside to a quiet corner nook with ease. Bonus: Two extension kits are available for purchase; one grows into bigger crib and then a toddler bed and lasts until age 3; the other enlarges the footprint to create a bed enough for a 10-year-old.

Stokke Sleepi Mini Crib, Drape Rod & Mattress Bundle

BUY FROM: Nordstrom, $599

THE DRESSER

In case you didn’t realize it, you’re about to be flooded with baby gifts, many of which will be delicate onesies, sweet layette sets and hilarious hipster t-shirts. (A friend gifted my baby girl a black Wu-Tang Clan onesie and the photos still make me laugh!) Point being: You need a place to store that ever-growing wardrobe, but if you’re lacking in space, a gargantuan-sized dresser just won’t do. Aaaaand, if you opted for the Stokke Sleepi Mini you probably want a piece that coordinates perfectly with your gorgeous cribbie, and there's no better option than the Stokke Home Dresser. Comprised of three soft-close drawers, the dresser is only 28-inches long and if you purchase the brand’s Home Changer with Mattress, it can function as a changing table, too. How’s that for #winning?

Stokke Home Dresser

BUY FROM: Nordstrom, $529

THE HIGH CHAIR

Is there anything more overwhelming to shop for than high chairs? So many brands, so many styles and sizes—it’s hard to know which is right for your little one. The Joovy Nook is the perfect happy medium for your small space because it’s a full-sized highchair with all the standard bells and whistles (Five-point harness? Check. Removable tray insert that is dishwasher-friendly? Check.) that also folds flat and can stand or hang on its own when not in use. The sleek design and minimalist color palette also ensure that it’s not an eye sore in your otherwise serene home.

Joovy Nook High Chair

BUY FROM: Amazon, SALE $87-$119 (Regularly $129, 8-33% Off!)

THE TUB

When you start researching baby bathtubs you’re going to be ooh-ing and ahh-ing all over the place—a giant inflatable duck that holds baby! An enormous plastic whale to insert in your tub! But then you’ll quickly realize that you can’t accommodate the footprint of 99% of the options on the market. Which is why I love the Boon Naked tub—it’s safe and efficient for bathing baby on a countertop or inside your bathtub, and then it collapses flat and can be hung on the back of a door or stashed in a closet when not in use. A modern design and crisp color palette is an added bonus.

Boon Naked Collapsible Baby Bathtub

BUY FROM: Amazon, SALE $39.98-$59.97 (Regularly $69.99, 14-43% Off!)

THE BOUNCING CHAIR

If this is your first baby, I’m here to tell you that you need a bouncy chair. Because after a couple of weeks of 24/7 baby-on-your-chest, you’re going to want a few minutes of alone time—whether you’re making dinner, showering or just lying on the couch watching Real Housewives of Orange Country. This one is fab because it bounces and vibrates and folds flat, so you can push it under a couch or hide in a closet when you don’t want your living room to look like  daycare.  

Fisher-Price Fun ‘n Fold Bouncer

BUY FROM: Amazon, SALE $23.75 (Regularly $49.99, 52% Off!)

THE DRYING RACK

This just in: Baby feeding gear has SO MANY PIECES. One bottle, for instance, can comprise nine (nine!) different components that need to be broken down and washed separately between each use. The only way to harness all those parts is via a drying rack on your counter—and Boon is the market leader for this product. While I love the brand’s Grass square and Lawn rectangle, the narrow Patch is equally useful for those who are short on counter space. Throw in a Stem extra storage.

Boon Patch Countertop Drying Rack & Stem

BUY PATCH FROM: Amazon, SALE $11.05 (Regularly $15.99, 31% Off!)

BUY STEM FROM: Amazon, $3.99

THE PLAYMAT

Like the bouncing chair, the playmat is a clutch item for all new parents for those times when, ya know, you want to put that sweet baby down. And it wasn’t until about a month into my parenting game that I realized floors are too hard for baby, carpets are way too scratchy for baby and grass is um, too grassy for baby—Read: You need a playmat. This one is free of mobiles and other accoutrement, allowing it to be rolled up and tucked away as soon as you’re done using it (or attached to your stroller, thanks to a handy hook). We love the non-toxic material and the fact that you can throw it in washing machine when that bambino spits up.

Nook Lilypad Playmat

BUY FROM: Amazon, $120

THE JUMPER

It’s hard to this imagine on day one, but within a few months your little angel is going to want to move. And jump and pull and chew and a jumper is the best way to get all that tiny baby energy out. But if you’ve had a chance to peruse the options out there, you probably thought to yourself, “Where on Earth am I going to put that thing?” Lucky for you we found one that has a small footprint and folds flat for easy storage. Done and done.

Baby Einstein Activity Jumper

BUY FROM: Amazon, SALE $69.98 (Regularly $99.99, 30% Off!)

THE DIAPER CADDY

You’ll quickly learn that balancing all your diapering products on the changing station is a disaster—one kick from baby and the Desitin and wipes will go flying. If you don’t have extra dresser-top real estate for a proper caddy, consider this hanging version that can attach to the side of your station.

Dexbaby Diaper Caddy and Nursery Organizer 

BUY FROM: Amazon, $21.99

THE STROLLER

I literally laughed out loud when I saw how compact this stroller becomes when folded—it can actually fit into a big tote purse! As many apartment complexes ban strollers in the communal hallways, parents are forced to roll their contraptions inside their living spaces, which takes up a huge amount of space AND brings in a trail of street/subway/and worse germs. With the GB, you can  opt for the standing fold position and tuck it away in a closet, or the aforementioned ultra-compact fold, which reduces the stroller into a 12- by 13-inch bundle.

GB Pockit Stroller

BUY FROM: Toys r Us, $249.99

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